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August 8, 1868, page 512

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During Reconstruction, basic civil rights for black Americans were enacted into the U.S. Constitution via the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments, into federal law through the Civil Rights Acts, and into the constitutions and laws of the former Confederate states and a few Northern ones. Given the prevalent racism in the country, and the resentment of many Southern whites to Reconstruction policies, a political reaction developed across the South. It resulted in the replacement of Republican Reconstruction governments with Democratic "Redeemer" governments. That change was accomplished and sustained in part by intimidation and violence against blacks and their white allies. The vehicle for those strong-arm tactics were paramilitary groups like the Ku Klux Klan, the White League, and the Red Shirts.

Harper’s Weekly would use this cartoon again in 1872, another presidential election year.


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